Meriam Ibrahim will enter U.S. 'soon'; Reveals prison birth didn't damage daughter | Christian Today →
Meriam Ibrahim gave an update this week on the status of her U.S. entry and her baby daughter, whom she initially feared would be disabled due to the condition of her birth.
Ibrahim told the Daily Mail that she feared that the strained delivery, in which she could not open her legs widely, may have physically damaged the baby.
She has since revealed that an initial doctor’s evaluation indicated that Maya was not injured during the birth. However, the baby is due to undergo an ultrasound in the coming weeks to confirm that she has full use of her legs. Ibrahim’s husband Daniel Wani has muscular dystrophy, a genetic condition that results in muscle wasting, and is confined to a wheelchair.
The family of four is living in the embassy library, awaiting legal clearance by the Sudanese government.
Ibrahim was accused of trying to leave the country using false documents, and it is unclear whether she faces criminal charges for that case. Also, her brother, Al Samani Al Hadi, has filed new charges against her. He is one of the family members that caused Ibrahim to be arrested after she married Wani.
Last week, Sudanese First Vice President Bakri Hassan Saleh and Foreign Minister Ali Karti told the Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lapo Pistelli, that “they were willing to cooperate to reach a positive and speedy solution to the case,” according to the Daily Mail.
Despite their ongoing struggles, Wani and Ibrahim expressed gratitude for the international outpouring of love and support that they have received.
"All the family is well now," Wani told the Daily Mail, repeating the phrase over and over.
"In a phone interview with CNN, Ibrahim spoke of the ordeal of giving birth while in prison, her fears for her family and how she is facing a future full of unknowns.
Asked how she felt in prison, refused access to a hospital as the birth of her child neared, Ibrahim said, “I was only thinking about my children and how I was going to give birth. I was mostly scared of giving birth in prison.”
The 27-year-old had reason to be alarmed.
"I gave birth chained. Not cuffs but chains on my legs. I couldn’t open my legs so the women had to lift me off the table. I wasn’t attached to the table," she said.
Doctors fear that the circumstances of the baby’s birth may have lasting consequences.
"I don’t know in the future whether she’ll need support to walk or not," said Ibrahim.
Latest reports indicate that Meriam and her family are safe at the U.S. embassy in Khartoum, Sudan. The U.S. State Department is working with the Sudanese government to get her paperwork cleared, charges related to travel documents dropped, and for safe passage to America.
Thank you for all your hard work to #savemeriam! Please continue to advocate, share, engage, and pray in the days to come so that we can truly #savemeriam and her family.
(Below: Briefing from State Department spokesperson Marie Harf on their efforts to help Meriam and her family.)
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese authorities and U.S. officials in Khartoum are negotiating to allow a Sudanese woman, who married an American and was recently spared the death penalty for converting to Christianity, to leave Sudan, sources close to the case said.
Mariam Yahya Ibrahim, 27, was detained at Khartoum airport on Tuesday, one day after an appeals court overturned a death sentence imposed on her for having converted from Islam to Christianity in order to marry her Christian American husband.
Her lawyer Mohaned Mostafa said Ibrahim, her husband and two children had all been staying at the U.S. embassy in Khartoum since her release, which was granted on the condition that Ibrahim remains in Sudan.
"There are talks going on currently between Sudanese and American officials to try to find a way for Mariam and her family to leave the country," a source close to the case said, asking not to be named as he was not authorised to talk to the media.
She is Free, Again
News outlets (The Guardian and Christian Post) are now reporting that Meriam and her family have been released from police custody. Reports are that the US State Department has been working hard to secure Meriam’s release and to bring them to the United States as soon as possible.
It appears that their arrest at the airport was the result of a kidnapping charge filed by a man claiming to be her brother (more on that below).
"Eman Abdul-Rahman, the lawyer for 27-year-old Meriam Ibrahim, said she had been released from a police station after foreign diplomats pressed the government to free her. She was detained along with her husband and two small children, one born behind bars, at Khartoum’s airport on Tuesday while trying to leave the country with her family." - The Guardian, June 26, 9:04 am EST
Sudanese Diplomats Are Working With American Diplomats
Tony Perkins, of the Family Research Council (whose petition we have been backing) reportedly met with the Sudanese Ambassador to America yesterday to discuss Meriam’s situation and her safety.
"Perkins said that he felt the meeting at the embassy over the status of Ibrahim and her family went well.
"I met with him [Sudanese Ambassador to the United States Maowia Khalid] for about an hour. I think the ambassador is a very reasonable man, understands the issue here," said Perkins.
"From all indications, from what I have spoken to members and others who’ve been working on this, [Khalid] has been working very hard to see this matter resolved in a positive way." - Christian Post, June 26th, 9:44 am EST
The Man Who Claims To Be Her Brother: The Real Enemy
NBC and The Telegraph are reporting that Meriam and Daniel’s arrest at the airport in Khartoum is the direct result of her supposed “brother” reporting to police that she had been ‘kidnapped.’ After her release from prison, this ‘brother’ was upset that he hadn’t been notified of her release and when he heard that she had been picked up by her husband he immediately alerted authorities to prevent her ‘kidnapping.’
"Ibrahim was re-arrested at the airport by agents from Sudan’s shadowy security service. She was transferred to police custody where her lawyer told NBC News she remained early Thursday.
Authorities said she had been stopped because her travel documents were illegitimate. But in an interview with a Sudanese newspaper, her brother claimed he tipped off police that she had been “kidnapped” by her husband who planned to take her to the U.S. against her will.” - NBC News, June 26th, 8:16 am
This man named Al Samani Al Hadi Mohamed Abdullah has repeatedly claimed to be Meriam’s brother. He is reportedly the one who filed the initial charges that led to her imprisonment, trial, and death sentence. He is the reason she gave birth to Maya in jail, in shackles. He has previously claimed that Daniel Wani (Meriam’s husband) fed her ‘potions’ to convert her to Christianity.
Both Daniel and Meriam have stated publicly that they do not know this man nor is he Meriam’s brother. Regardless of his relationship to Meriam his intentions are clearly stated in this interview with CNN from two days ago.
"…if she repents and returns to our Islamic faith and to the embraces of our family, then we are her family and she is ours… . But if she refuses she should be executed.” - Al Samani Al Haid Abdullah
This man Al Samani Al Hadi poses the greatest threat to Meriam’s safety and the safety of her family.
We will continue to keep you updated as best we can, with the latest information on Meriam, her family, and their freedom from persecution in Sudan.
The latest word is that Meriam and her entire family are still in police custody and have now been charged with trying to illegally leave the country and can face up to SEVEN years in jail for trying to “flee the country.”
The mother-of-two was told the devastating news after being detained with her husband, US citizen Daniel Wani and their two young children as they tried to fly out of the African country hours after a death sentence against her was dropped.
Dr Ibrahim, 27, was charged with obtaining a false travel document and giving false information to immigration officials - and banned from leaving Sudan.
… she is back in a cell with her son Martin, 21, and daughter Maya, one month.
Mr Wani is also locked up with them at the Al Sheradee police station in Khartoum after being confronted at Khartoum airport by 40 agents of the feared National Intelligence and Security Services.
It is believed they were trying to travel to Washington DC and Sudanes media have claimed that the US vice consul was with the family at the airport.
Mr Wani told AFP: ‘We are worried. that’s why we want to get out of here as soon as possible.’
Dr Ibrahim’s lawyer Shareif Ali Shareif told MailOnline: ‘The authorities do not have the right to hold her. They appear not to want to let her leave Sudan. They are restricting her movements.
'Her husband Daniel and the children are with her in the same cell. Any reports suggesting she has been released are wrong. We need to highlight her plight.’
A diplomatic row has now erupted and the Sudanese Foreign Ministry has summoned the American and South Sudanese ambassadors to explain themselves.
Dr Ibrahim had been granted emergency travel documents by the government of South Sudan to travel there and then on to the US.
The BBC is now reporting that Meriam & family have been released from detainment with the NISS in Sudan.
They were arrested at the airport earlier today while trying to leave the country to come to the US. Sudanese officials have claimed there were/are issues with her and her husband’s paperwork.
We are unsure about the paperwork requirements but the BBC is reporting that U.S. State Department officials are continuing to work to bring her to the US.
The latest information from the BBC is that officials are claiming Meriam has been ‘detained’ because she didn’t have the proper ‘travel documents.’ The travel documents in question are from South Sudan, which is an independent state now, having separated from Sudan. A 22 year conflict between South Sudan and Sudan recently ended in 2011/2012 with their independence. Daniel Wani was born in South Sudan and was probably traveling under those papers.
This plus other evidence seems to point to internal political struggles over the release of Meriam and that certain power brokers are upset over her freedom. The ‘travel documents’ are just an excuse to arrest Meriam and her family, in order to prevent them from leaving for America.
Because, if Meriam and her family get on a plane in Khartoum, I doubt they will ever return. This was Sudan’s last opportunity to prevent her from leaving.
Please continue to pray for her and her family’s release from detainment and that they will finally be able to leave Sudan and come to America.
About 40 security agents detained Mrs Ibrahim - along with her husband, Daniel Wani and two children - at the airport, the sources said.
A top Sudanese official has told the BBC she would be freed “soon”.
Abdullahi Alzareg from the ministry of foreign affairs told the BBC’s Newshour programme that Mrs Ibrahim had been arrested because she did not have the correct travel documents.
Although she is Sudanese, she was using emergency South Sudanese papers with a US visa, he said.
Meriam, along with her entire family has been re-arrested and taken into custody at the airport in Khartoum as she was trying to leave the country!
This battle is not over yet. Please continue to advocate for Meriam and her family and please continue to pray.
[Meriam] has been re-arrested just a day later while trying to leave Sudan, her lawyer told NBC News on Tuesday.
… lawyer Elshareef Ali Mohammed said a group of 50 security force personnel arrested her during an angry confrontation at the airport in the capital Khartoum on Tuesday.
Mohammed, who was at the airport with Ibrahim, said the security forces did not give him a reason for her re-arrest, and made no reference to her dropped case even when he identified himself as her lawyer. He said Ibrahim had been taken to a detention center accompanied by her two children and husband Daniel Wani, who insisted on going with her. “I have no more information,” he said. “They knew she had been cleared by the court but they have re-arrested her - I don’t know why.”
Reports suggest that Meriam and her children have been moved to a safe house because of threats to her life. Her lawyers and US embassy officials will meet tomorrow to talk about moving her to America. Please continue to pray for Meriam and her family as she is not out of danger yet.
"Safwan Abobaker, an activist … with religious campaign group Hardwired … said that the pressure to release Ms Ibrahim paid off. He said: ‘The Sudanese government was embarrassed by all the attention so they freed her.
‘It’s better for her to come to America now as her half brother said that he would kill her if the court did not carry out the sentence. The Sudanese government needs to protect Meriam and the U.S. embassy in Sudan needs to find a way of bringing her to America quickly.’